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Old June 12th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #21
babystan03
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This story was printed from TODAYonline
Is a bus station at Turf City too downmarket?

Puzzling why the site was leased for retail use if residents' peace was not to be disturbed

Weekend • June 12, 2004

IF bus operators, moneychangers and tour agents are too downmarket for Bukit Timah, why doesn't the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) just say so?

On Tuesday, the URA rejected plans by Turf City to use part of its premises as a terminal for the bus services that ply between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Turf City, which leases the former Turf Club premises from the Government, had intended to use a fraction of the land — 50,000 sq ft out of 56 hectares, or less than 1 per cent — for this purpose.

Turf City has found it difficult to hit on a right mix of tenants since it got the site in 2001.

So far, only the hypermart there seems to be doing well. Some tenants have left and Turf City itself has lost $1.37 million since it opened.

With its extensive space, Turf City is a good location for bus operators, eight of whom are ready to relocate half their fleets there. This will bring in up to 4,000 travellers a day and generate business for other tenants. A win-win arrangement for all concerned.

But the URA does not agree.

Using the Turf City site as a transport hub, it said, was not compatible with the existing residential land use in the area as the increased human and vehicle traffic would disturb residents.

If the URA is concerned about disturbing the peace and quiet of the residential areas around Turf City, why then did it allow the Singapore Land Authority to lease out the site for retail use in the first place?

A shopping complex needs shoppers — lots of shoppers — if it is to be viable. And to get to the complex they need to travel there in some kind of vehicle, so there is going to be increased human and vehicle traffic anyway.

In any case, each of the buses that carry people between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand carry an average of 25 passengers. The estimated 4,000 passengers a day would mean 160 buses.

Surely, a hypermarket such as Giant already generates more than 4,000 visitors and 160 vehicles a day. Do these not greatly disturb residents of the area?

It just doesn't make sense. But, perhaps, the issue is not really about traffic and noise but the type of human traffic that a bus terminal would attract? The residential areas around Turf City are, for the most part, quite upmarket.

While a hypermarket is not exactly exclusive, it is a convenience to have nearby. A bus terminal, with the attendant moneychangers and tour agents, is a very different proposition.

If so, why don't we just call a spade a spade and say a bus terminal is too downmarket for this upmarket residential area?

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 06:44 AM   #22
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JULY 19, 2004
British buses to be Comfortingly familiar
By Neo Hui Min

LONDON - Soon a Singaporean boarding a bus in London may wonder if the driver took a wrong turn and ended up in the British capital by mistake.

That is because it will not be long before bus drivers here start wearing uniforms with a brand that is more familiar back home - ComfortDelgro.

Even the name of the London black cab booking service Comcab has a familiar ring to it. It, too, is part of the ComfortDelgro group.

One of Singapore's main transport companies is now among the top five players in London's competitive public transport environment. Known here as Metroline, ComfortDelgro's London bus operations have captured 12 per cent of the market share. It services 84 routes, mostly in the capital's north-western areas.

It also handles booking services for about 3,800 cabs in London, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

ComfortDelgro acquired the business in 2000, after bus services here were privatised.

The British subsidiary contributes about $500 million to the group, just under a third of total group turnover. Last year, the total group turnover was $1.8 billion.

Metroline managing director Steve McAleavy said the company has since been actively branding its group's name in its communications.

Industry players who realise the bus company is now Singaporean-owned are always curious to find out what it means to be working for a company so far from home.

'People are used to the idea of working for European companies, but Singapore is over 6,000 miles away and seven or eight hours ahead,' said Mr McAleavy.

'Some people can't get their heads round to the idea of Singapore, it just stretches the imagination because it is so far away.'

Despite the distance, changes have come swiftly since the takeover, he said. The bus fleets have been renewed and buses are getting better engineering.

The Singaporean group has also invested heavily in technology, even fitting buses with a satellite positioning system that tells drivers where the next buses in front and behind them are in relation to their current location.

'If you lived in London you would have experienced waiting ages for a bus, and then all of a sudden, three or four of them would arrive at once,' Mr McAleavy said. 'This new GPRS system helps drivers to gauge the distances between each other.'

About 280 of its 1,000 or so buses now boast the system, and it will soon be fitted to the rest.

The modernisation of the operations is a significant change to a sector which has not always been known for technological innovation.

The company is now trying to increase its market share against 31 other bus companies in London. It is also awaiting the coming privatisation of a quarter of Dublin's state-owned bus services, with intentions to buy some of the routes.

Finance director Steve Ellis said: 'We have big ambitions.'

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old August 6th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #23
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Auto updating of fare stages on 9 bus routes

Starting tomorrow: Satellite system, delayed from 2002, will prevent overcharging

By Goh Chin Lian


AUTOMATIC updating of fare stages will start on nine bus services from tomorrow, in a move to prevent passengers from being overcharged when bus drivers forget to update them manually.

The new feature will be introduced on all buses 'progressively', said the Land Transport Authority in a joint statement with bus operators SBS Transit and SMRT Buses yesterday.

They have spent the past two years testing a satellite- based system that tracks the position of buses and calculates the fare stages.

The number of fare stages travelled determines the bus fare.

The system will be in place initially on SBS Transit's services 40, 228, 265, 268 and 506, and SMRT Buses' 173, 180, 184 and 189.

Ez-link card readers at the exits on the buses will be de-activated when the doors close and the buses move off.

The readers will be activated only when the bus is 100m away from the next bus stop, when the fare stage has been updated.

SBS Transit said that it will have 50 staff members on hand on its bus services for the first two mornings to help passengers get used to the system.

The automatic updating was to have been introduced with the ez-link electronic fare card in April 2002, but the system was not ready then.

All 4,000 bus stops had to be mapped precisely, as well as the routes of about 3,600 SBS and SMRT buses.

It would have been 'ideal' to launch it at the same time as the ez-link system, but the LTA had said the contactless farecard's basic system needed to be 'stabilised' first.

Several technical issues had to be worked out, both with hardware and software and the system was then acting up at 10 'problematic' bus stops, mostly downtown.

Currently, drivers update the system manually at each fare stage, which typically consists of two bus stops.

If this is not done correctly, wrong fares are charged.

About 95 per cent of drivers remember to do so but an automated system means they will not have to.
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Old August 24th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #24
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Face off: Double- decker versus Bendy

Bendys are more accessible but double-deckers take up less road space, say operators

By Christopher Tan


ARE articulated buses better than double-deckers?

That perennial question, which has never been answered satisfactorily since Tibs brought in the first 'Bendy' bus in 1996, became topical again when London celebrated a special anniversary on the weekend of July 25.

That was the day the city marked the 50th year of its quintessential Routemaster double-deckers, which in the last five decades have become as recognisable as the British bobby and Big Ben.

The celebrations also marked the beginning of the end of the iconic red bus.

London mayor Ken Livingstone announced earlier this year that most of the 500 that remain will be phased out by late next year.

They will be replaced by newer models of double-deckers as well as Bendy buses. Major bus supplier Mercedes-Benz believes there will be more of the latter.

The development, still hotly debated by the icon's fans and commuters, is seen in some quarters as a gradual shift away from double-deckers. Besides Britain, the rest of Europe favours the Bendy.

But Singapore's largest transport group, Comfort- DelGro Corp, which has 840 double-deckers and two Bendys in its fleet of 2,500 buses, remains unconvinced.

Company spokesman Tammy Tan said: 'London is not doing away with all types of double-deckers, only the Routemaster. In fact, London has added more double-decker buses on the road in the last few years as these are found to be more suitable given the number of passengers they can carry for the amount of road space they take up.'

Currently, about two-thirds of buses in London have two decks, and 'they will be around for a long time more', she predicted.

Smaller rival Tibs, which has since been taken over by SMRT Corp and renamed SMRT Buses, has a different take on the situation.

An SMRT Corp spokesman said: 'We're generally satisfied with the Bendy bus in terms of performance, reliability and passenger-friendliness. Being single-deck, it's more passenger-friendly, especially during periods when demand is heavy.'

The company has 313 Bendys. These make up nearly 40 per cent of its fleet, up from 24 per cent five years ago.

The Bendy has three doors, making it faster and easier for passengers to board and alight. For the same reason, it occupies significantly less time at a bus stop, thus offsetting its longer dimensions.

It can also carry a few more passengers than a double-decker and, according to SMRT, costs less to run than a normal 12m single-decker bus on a per passenger basis.

And the articulated vehicle - which has a swivel centre - requires no special treatment.

'We didn't have to make any infrastructural changes to our depots to accommodate the Bendys,' the SMRT spokesman said. 'Although they're about 1.5 times longer, they have the same turning radius as a 12m bus.'

However, ComfortDelGro's Ms Tan maintains the vehicle is 'less efficient in terms of road space usage'. And despite its remarkable turning radius, she reckons it is less manoeuvrable.

'Reversing one in tight spots at interchanges, for instance, can pose a safety risk to passengers and other buses,' she said.

ComfortDelGro's double-deckers cost less than SMRT's articulated buses because the latter are factory-made and imported fully assembled. ComfortDelGro, which has had double-deckers since 1977, imports its buses' chassis and assembles their body separately.

While proponents point to the Bendy's popularity in Europe, Ms Tan claims Europe prefers them because 'many cities have low-hanging power lines in the streets'. 'However, we don't have such limitations in Singapore.'

Still, the company recognises that double-deckers are less accessible, and 'we're prepared to convert more seats in our buses to 'green seats' to cater for the handicapped and aged if necessary'.

Commuters appear divided on the two bus types as well.

Mr Billy Yeo, 20, who is serving his national service, said he finds a seat on the upper deck of a double-decker during peak hours more comfortable 'because passengers are not allowed to stand'.

Sales executive Beverly Wong, in her 30s, said: 'I enjoy the height of double-deckers. Bendys give a bumpy ride.'

But private school teacher B.L. Tan, 43, noted that the Bendy is 'more convenient' for commuters to get on and off.

The Land Transport Authority pointed out that all buses - whether single-deck, double-deck or articulated - are each accorded the same road space as two cars.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #25
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a variety would be best for consumers like me so i'm a little less bored.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #26
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For the record, I hate bendy buses!
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Old August 25th, 2004, 03:44 PM   #27
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why? i think the pininfarina designed ones look quite pretty!
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Old August 25th, 2004, 03:52 PM   #28
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both bendies and doubles look good (the new ones specifically only!)

but i prefer bendies, more modern looking and more user friendly.....
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Old August 25th, 2004, 03:58 PM   #29
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...........I dont have a preference on buses just because they look better. Sitting at the back of bendy buses gives me a headache sometimes, and hence I detest them.

Double deakers give me unrivalled views!
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Old August 25th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #30
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I like double deck becos of the view also......my fave seat is the front seat on the second floor.......
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Old August 25th, 2004, 05:28 PM   #31
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oh i like double decks for view too, but i like sitting at the back of bendy buses too! i'm so flexible i will survive i am the fittest.

but i concede i have the same thoughts too that double deckers are more space efficient.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 05:39 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
I like double deck becos of the view also......my fave seat is the front seat on the second floor.......
Sama sama! Nothing beats taking a double deaker Bus number 30 and fly over the Benjamin Sheares bridge!
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Old September 21st, 2004, 12:39 PM   #33
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The New Paper - 21 Sep 2004

Switch to luxury travel... by bus

By Celine Lim
[email protected]

EVEN as airlines are going budget, bus companies are switching to luxury.

From leather seats to on-demand movies from the touch-screen LCD monitor of your personal entertainment system and even a hostess to serve you meals.

Express bus company Transtar Travel will start the new service from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (KL) next month. Each year, thousands head north, to places like Kuala Lumpur, in coaches. Little surprise then that bus companies are sprucing up their coaches.

For a first-class seat on Transtar's coaches, a one-way ticket from Singapore to KL will cost $56 while the rate from KL to Singapore is RM88($39).

Mr Tony Chiang, 60, a retiree who does freelance marketing consulting, travels to KL from Singapore two or three times a month 'for leisure'.

He usually makes the trip on Super VIP coaches because it is 'more convenient than taking a plane and takes almost the same amount of time'.

'I have to travel to the airport, check in my bag, go through immigration and take a taxi from the KL airport to the town area.'

All in all, it usually takes more than four hours. A coach would take about half an hour more.

Passengers board the new first-class coaches at Transtar Travel outlets at Lavender MRT, Boon Lay and Golden Mile Complex and their final stop is at the new Imbi Bus Terminal at Pasar Rakyat, which is about a 10-minute taxi ride from KL's Times Square.

Transtar Travel estimates that 20,000 people travelled by express coach from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur last year.

Lawyer Lawrence Tan, 57, usually drives between KL and Singapore at least twice a month for work.

When he started commuting in 1992, he did not want to take a bus as it was 'pretty boring'.

But these days, he often takes the double-decker express coaches run by Nice bus company.

'I would go for the new first-class express coach if I really want to relax. I won't mind paying a little more since I arrive refreshed.'

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #34
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Note: a dublicate of this thread has been made at the Urban Transport section of the international forums at

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=130.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:27 PM   #35
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Does this mean that whatever is posted here will be posted in the subway section? and vice versa?
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
Does this mean that whatever is posted here will be posted in the subway section? and vice versa?
you can choose to post in both places, especially media articles or that kind of thing, or in either place. We can "syncronise" the two threads periodically anyway, so that is not a big problem.

Its not that different from the aviation and maritime forums, or quite a number of our skyscraper-related ones too.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 08:27 PM   #37
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SEPT 20, 2004

AUTO UPDATES ON MORE BUSES

FIVE more bus services will be using the vehicle location system from today, said SBS Transit in a statement.

The system, launched in July, automatically updates fare stages on the buses. Altogether, 10 bus services are running with the system.

The five new bus services using it from today are: 261, 254, 272, 275 and 315. There will be 27 goodwill ambassadors available on these services today to help commuters get used to the system.

Posters and stickers will also be put up at the Ang Mo Kio, Boon Lay, Bukit Merah and Serangoon interchanges, where the five bus services are from, to tell commuters about it.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
SEPT 20, 2004

AUTO UPDATES ON MORE BUSES

FIVE more bus services will be using the vehicle location system from today, said SBS Transit in a statement.

The system, launched in July, automatically updates fare stages on the buses. Altogether, 10 bus services are running with the system.

The five new bus services using it from today are: 261, 254, 272, 275 and 315. There will be 27 goodwill ambassadors available on these services today to help commuters get used to the system.

Posters and stickers will also be put up at the Ang Mo Kio, Boon Lay, Bukit Merah and Serangoon interchanges, where the five bus services are from, to tell commuters about it.
auto updates for feeder buses?! does it make any difference?
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 01:08 AM   #39
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Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 01 October 2004 1535 hrs

SBS Transit introduces new vehicle location system in more routes
By Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The Vehicle Location System (VLS) will be introduced on another 10 SBS Transit service routes starting Monday.

They are service numbers 225, 229, 262, 269, 273, 292, 317, 333, 334 and 335.

SBS Transit says this addition follows the successful launch of the system over the last three months on 15 service routes.

The VLS allows for the automated updating of fare stages through a satellite-based bus tracking system.

Once the bus position is determined automatically, bus drivers no longer need to update the fare stages manually, and this will eradicate human error in the updating of fare stages and hence, ensure accurate fare deduction.

To inform commuters about the VLS, posters and decals will be displayed at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Merah, Jurong East, Serangoon and Tampines Bus Interchanges where the ten services are operating from. - CNA

Copyright © 2004 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old October 6th, 2004, 04:10 PM   #40
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Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 06 October 2004 1957 hrs

Handa Indah launches new bus service to Larkin in Johor Bahru
By Joanne Leow, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : From Thursday, there will be another new bus service between Johor Bahru and Singapore.

This is the third time in a month that a new service is being launched between the two destinations.

Malaysian company Handa Indah will begin express services between Singapore's Queen Street and Larkin in Johor Bahru.

This is despite increased competition on the Singapore-JB route from SBS and SMRT.

But Handa Indah is so confident commuters want an express service to Johor Bahru that it is planning to launch more such routes in December.

These will start from Jurong and use the Second Link to enter Malaysia. - CNA

Copyright © 2004 MCN International Pte Ltd
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